Two simple questions… who suffered in the making of your bed linen and was the environment scarred in any way? Can you answer those questions?
It is her passion and her calling. Living in Australia for the majority of her life, with time in studies and work in London, Auckland, Florence, Istanbul and Sydney, Tarsha Burn has become driven to create exquisitely beautiful organic bed linen for the whole family AND to do it with social and environmental awareness.
Tarsha has become a passionate creator and unwavering in her commitment to helping make positive change on a monumental scale.
What do you do?
Under the banner of my new ethical business, Organic Bed Threads, I design and produce chemical free, fair trade made bed linen with talented artisans and women’s groups in India.
What got you started in the chemical free industry?
It was the chemical overload on cotton farmers in India that I had witnessed in a documentary many years ago that ignited my passion to create a truly ethical bed linen range. I was shocked to learn that their primitive chemical application to their cotton crop led to so many illnesses, diseases and deformities.
Often these farmers are heavily swayed to use chemicals by the larger chemical producing players, with the promise of a faster yield, and farmers are invariably trapped. With little or no education or money to cure themselves of the chemical toxins and their hideous side effects, that wrecks havoc on their bodies, families, their communities, waterways and the environment, which then filters through to buyers in some way, I felt compelled to help in whatever way I could, to reverse some of the chemical overload upon our people and planet.
What makes your product or service different?
I believe that my product line physically engages with many aspects of ethical production that other brands do not. While a brand may enlist in only organic production, I have gone to great lengths to have my product accredited by the Global Organic Textile Standard and ensure fair trade practices are upheld under the standards of the International Labour Organisation from certified organic cotton seed to finished product.
I wanted to add more layers of humanitarian involvement, by engaging artisans of age old textile techniques, that are at peril of dying out to fast fashion production, and highlight these delicate methods in rare handmade work. Further I wanted to provide women gainful employment opportunities so that they too can feel the effects of creative employment empowerment, thus by adding a second income and helping to contribute to their family’s’ wellbeing, survival and hopefully continued education for their children.
What has been your biggest obstacle?
Raising the focus on ethical and conscious education and purchasing power has been the most difficult.
Our international buying culture has been inundated with sale after sale of cheaply made products, with no true value to fair trade production being adhered. The conscious consumer movement in Australia is very slow. While various media platforms may be highlighting these salient themes, primarily in apparel, there is a definite lack of proactive follow through by consumers for all other items within the home, that are also made in undesirable working conditions.
It’s as if I am a decade before my time. Yet in other countries to buy ethically is the norm. It is very frustrating when you have the stories behind the product to back up it’s ethical validity yet the engagement is slow.
What is your most interesting/best TIP to help families reduce their toxic chemical exposure?
- Become a researcher of the products you buy. Don’t take word of mouth, media nor the label as verbatim. Check the company out via their website and the associated supporting agencies they are aligned with.
- Become more concerned with what goes in and on your bodies. We owe it to ourselves to treat our bodies as an honoured temple to eek out the very best quality of life, and this stands to support those who make our products as well.
While there are residues of chemicals lurking within our purchased textiles, those greatly affected are the producers. Our way of life is getting faster and faster, more populated, thus, products are made faster to keep up with demand than ever before. Quality seems to have been forgotten and the morals of production have definably become more lax.
We have become very insular in our view of the world. In general, we only think about our immediate personal concerns, which illustrates the type of life we have chosen to live – fast and furious – and our increasing lack of compassion for others. Human beings do not thrive when isolated from others, we need to be connected to a greater web to provide more meaning in our lives. This famous quote from English poet John Donne in 1624 aptly sums up my views “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”
In my view, we all need to become more conscious when we pass over our money and question how and by whom the item was made. Ask questions like:
- did anyone suffer in its production,
- was the environment scarred in any way.
Buy products with integrity. While this may come at a higher price, isn’t it worth it, knowing you have not contributed to the destruction of people and planet in any way?!
Is there another non-toxic business that you think is great & would recommend?
For sure, organic chef and spa uniform label, Cream Workwear is doing amazing things within the restaurant industry.
Find Organic Bed Threads on www.chemfreecom.com under these categories
- Distributor Opportunity (Bus Op)
- Home Products Internal
- Homeware Products
- Offering Partner/Joint Venture (Bus Op)
- Retail Opportunity (Bus Op)
- Wholesale/Distribution (Bus Op)
- Gift Certificate/Voucher/Box